PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Federal authorities have apparently struck a deal with one of the business owners who allegedly gave thousands of dollars in alleged bribes to District Attorney Seth Williams.
Williams is charged in a multi-count federal indictment with taking cash, vacations and other gifts from two local business owners in return for favors. The DA has denied the charges and is set for trial in federal court at the end of May.
FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser has the exclusive new details and a closer look at the man known as "business owner number one".
His name is Muhammad Ali identified by sources as "business owner number one" in the federal bribery indictment against District Attorney Seth Williams. He's the guy who prosecutors say allegedly gave the DA thousands of dollars in exchange for the DA's help on a number of matters. We caught up with Ali at a shopping center near his home in Southampton, Bucks County. He was in no mood to speak with FOX 29 on the rainy Thursday or answer questions about his relationship with Williams, the charges against the DA or why he allegedly gave Williams money.
The Bucks County businessman and Williams made headlines in March when Williams was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly taking tens of thousands of dollars from Ali and a second business owner in return for favors, along with allegedly defrauding a local nursing home caring for his aging mother.
Federal prosecutors alleged that business owner number one, Ali, gave Williams plenty. According to federal prosecutors, Ali gave Williams money in return for his help for a friend who had a criminal case in court. The feds also say Williams set up a meeting with Ali and a high ranking Philadelphia police official to pressure the police official to help Ali bypass secondary security screenings at the airport. Ali is a Jordanian-American who frequently visits family members overseas.
We tried to ask Ali about the DA and those airport screenings outside his business in Bucks County. While Ali refused to answer, federal prosecutors say, he gave Williams a $7,000 check after meeting with the police official. The FBI says Williams placed the check in his personal bank account the next day. We are not identifying the police official because he was not charged and may be a witness against Williams at trial.
Undeterred, DA Williams repeatedly offered to write a letter to federal homeland security officials to assist Ali and his family with security screenings at the airport.
Ali has a $500,000 home in a cul de sac in Feasterville and a business nearby called "What's Up Beverages". The company sells energy drinks worldwide as Ali's own Facebook page shows."What's Up" has a small warehouse and office facility in Southampton.
Sources say Ali is working on a plea agreement.